"One day I took them out and stepped in them, and I said wow," Sherlonda Tyrus said. "This was me."
With a wistful simile, she can show us her old jeans. But Sherlonda easily tears up thinking about the childhood pain she felt, being called "the fat kid."
"I look back at things like going to McDonald's, playing in the balls," she said. "I could never do it because I was overweight. Or at Chuck E. Cheese, because I was too big."
Her pictures tell a story of an overweight child growing into an obese young woman.
"I was about 200 pounds when I graduated," she said.
Sherlonda remembers enjoying big bowls of cereal as a kid - not realizing how fast the calories were adding up with everything else on the menu.
"Pop, chips, cupcakes, it was a lot of junk food," she said.
As time goes by, there's marriage and then comes four daughters and all the while, her struggle gets worse.
FOX 2: "What was your biggest weight?"
"That I know was 325 but I believe I had gotten to a bigger point," she said.
There were many diets and many times she'd drop 10 20 or even 30 pounds, but it always came back. In 2011 a doctor tells her surgery is the only option.
"He told me there was no way I could do it with diet and exercise alone," she said.
Frustrated, Sherlonda considers surgery. but it was a new car that really put her on a different path.
My dad bought a Corvette and he wanted to take me for a ride and I couldn't fasten the seat belt," Sherlonda said. "And that was very hurtful for me, at that point I said this is just enough."
And look at what happened next. Sherlonda found determination, strength and muscles that she never knew she had.
It started three years ago with a simple Zoomba class. She started seeing results and she was motivated.
Now Sherlonda is training for a body building competition and she is not only a powerhouse physically, but mentally too.
"(My weight is down to) 165," she said. "A lot of muscle."
Food has a whole new meaning for Sherlonda. Gone is the fast food, the sugar, and the cereal.
She fuels her body with lots of vegetables and lean protein, measuring everything with a food scale and prepping her meals for the week.
"I set my containers out so I set up my food for the week," she said. "It's kind of easy access."
It's that dedication that has made Sherlonda so successful. At 5 a.m. you'll find her arriving at the Powerhouse Gym in West Bloomfield - putting in her two-hour workout.
Yes she wishes her younger self would have found this life, but what's even better is how she now has inspired other women.
"I look at the ladies I inspire by my story," Sherlonda said. "And I think that's just fantastic.
"So for that, I wouldn't change it."
Sherlonda tells FOX 2 she's excited to be doing her first body building competition in April.
She's amazed by the beauty of the human body and excited to strut her stuff. She never thought she'd say that.
You can follow her progress on her Facebook Page and hopefully also be inspired.